Leadership Coalition


Under the Bringing Theory to Practice Project in 2010-2011, 53 university and college presidents formed a national Leadership Coalition, committing their campuses to becoming models for what liberal education can offer—and most effectively deliver. The formation of the Coalition was made possible with the support of the S. Engelhard Center, the Charles Engelhard Foundation, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, and the Lumina Foundation.

As active participants in the Coalition, these colleges and universities sought to create campus cultures that enhanced the academic well-being and civic development of their students. The institutions demonstrated how to achieve greater faculty and student interaction, broaden reward structures, and elevate expectations through the creation and maintenance of carefully sustained civic engagement programs. In doing so, they provided models for how institutions can fully address and advance the intellectual, emotional, and civic dimensions of their students.

In addition to receiving grant support, the participating institutions:

  • Held relevant internal conversations regarding the institution’s commitment to a call for a “campus culture for learning,” what that meant for their campus, and what strategies they would employ.
  • Established a leadership/planning team to initiate plans to fit their own institutional culture.
  • Put their plans into practice beginning in the calendar year of 2009, reporting progress of their work at a retrieval and dissemination conference in 2010. The campus projects constituted multiple examples that became the central features of a nationally distributed publication, promulgating the institutions as models of successful, effective and affordable “Strategies for Change in Creating and Sustaining Campus Cultures for Learning.”


The initial activity of the Coalition was a Presidents' Symposium, held at the Georgetown Conference Center in Washington, DC, November 10-11, 2008. The Symposium featured presentations on the latest research on learning and institutional change, and new educational models that have been adopted by institutions of various types. Presenters and discussion facilitators included scholars, researchers, institutional leaders, foundation leaders, and professional leaders. This diverse group of presidents formed the nucleus of the Leadership Coalition. Of those that attended the Presidents' Symposium, 39 presidents and their institutional teams submitted proposals to join the Leadership Coalition over the next two years, forming the first "phase" of Coalition institutions to receive support from BTtoP.

From April 19-20 in Washington, DC, campus personnel from the 39 institutions comprising the first phase of the Leadership Coalition came together for a Follow-up Conference, confirming their commitment to the objectives of the Leadership Coalition of presidents and institutions advancing the transformative promise of liberal education.

14 campuses were added to those institutions already participating in April, 2009, as presidents of these institutions met in New York City for a Presidents Seminar, a one-day conference introducing them to the Coalition and inviting them to join in the work of the original 39 campuses.

The BTtoP Project and its funders extend their congratulations and express profound respect for the achievements exhibited by those institutions that participated in the Leadership Coalition, and recognize their presidents as national educational leaders.

Conferences and Meetings:

Visit the Past Events page for more information on past Leadership Coalition gatherings.

Leadership Coalition Resources

*These presentations are in viewable PDF format that will open in full screen/ presentation mode. To exit full screen mode and review individual slides, simply press escape.


Institutionsort descending Project Title Funding Period
Muhlenberg College Planning Grant
New England College Planning Grant
Pace University Planning Grant
Pitzer College Planning Grant
Purchase College, State University of New York Planning Grant
Roosevelt University Planning Grant
Sarah Lawrence College Planning Grant
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Planning Grant
Southern Arkansas University Planning Grant
St. Edward's University Planning Grant
State University of New York at Geneseo Planning Grant
State University of New York College at Cortland Planning Grant
The College of Wooster Planning Grant
The Evergreen State College Planning Grant
The New School Planning Grant
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Planning Grant
Tufts University Planning Grant
University of Maine at Farmington Planning Grant
University of Southern Maine Planning Grant
Ursinus College Planning Grant
Vancouver Island University Planning Grant
Wagner College Planning Grant
Wartburg College Planning Grant
Washington & Jefferson College Planning Grant
Washington and Lee University Planning Grant